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  1. #526
    rjl
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    As always T-Mar, you never fail to amaze me. Thanks for the info! Yes, I had a feeling a previous owner did some good upgrading at some point, but I'm puzzled as to why someone else would let it just basically ROT afterwards. I still owe you guys pics when I get home today (hopefully I'll beat sundown).

  2. #527
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    P1010025.jpg

    All,

    Just found this thread. I am the original owner of a early 80's specialissma (most likely an 82) from the bicycle exchange in Cambridge Mass. I had bought it to replace my stolen Univega Sport Tour (an 81 or an 82). My intent was to quit my job and bike across the USA on the specialissma. I went to grad school instead, though I did do several week long tours on it, including a memorable week in southern Nova Scotia. Then it languished in the garage for years as i went through a racing and century ride phase with many different bikes, all of them steel.

    At present I use the specialissma as my commuter, and I only own one other bike, a Bike Friday pocket rocket. I plan to up grade the Specialissma with new components and make it more enjoyable to ride, so the vintage purists out there will annoyed. I will make the switch to 700c wheels, have a dyno-hub, a compact triple, 8 or 9 speed indexed shifting, changes the bars to either porteur or wider randoneur bars, replace ailing fenders. I also plan on getting the bike painted/powder coated.

    For those interested in specs on the bike (right now it is near original)

    Deraileurs: Suntour Cyclone GT
    Shifters: Suntour Bar cons
    Freewheel: Suntour 14-28t
    Crank: 52-48-32 SR Apex ( nearly impossible to find replacement chain rings, very odd BCD )
    Frame: Tange Champion #2 butted tubes, with a chain stay length of 44cm, 23" C-C seat tube
    Brakes: Dia compe levers and cantilever brakes
    Wheels: Araya rims 40 spoke rear and 36 spoke front (galvanized spokes!) Sunshine hubs
    Seat Post: Fluted SR Laprade
    Bars: SR ....?
    Pedals: ?.... long gone
    Stem: Replaced with a high rise/short reach nashbar to facilitate old age rider….


    Love to hear from other specialissma owners and debate merits of authenticity vs upgrades


    Rob
    Last edited by Rob_W; 12-01-11 at 11:53 AM.

  3. #528
    rain dog mainstreetexile's Avatar
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    Nice Specialissima. If you post the serial number we should be able to give you an exact year.

    Your upgrades sound pretty reasonable, especially if you keep any old parts in case you would want to take it back to stock at some point. I'm not sure about the 8 or 9 speed indexed shifting though, but I'm a fan of friction shifting in general, especially with bar-cons.

    Is this a 5 or a 6 speed freewheel now? If it's 6 it's probably 126mm spacing and you should be able to use a modern 130mm wheelset without too many problems if your brakes can adjust for it. If it's 5 it's probably 120mm and it would need to be cold set. What's wrong with the current wheels?

    From the photo, the paint doesn't look bad, why do you want to get it powder coated?

    I had a similar SR Apex triple on my '80 gran turismo, it was 52/47/34 and all three rings used the same bcd. Depends on your riding, but I don't really care for half-step+granny cranksets. My miyata 210 also came with one and I swapped it out for a more evenly spaced 50/40/30.

    I like your choice of stem, I've had the same exact stem on several of my bikes and I love it.

  4. #529
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob_W View Post
    Just found this thread. I am the original owner of a early 80's specialissma (most likely an 82) from the bicycle exchange in Cambridge Mass. ...I did do several week long tours on it, including a memorable week in southern Nova Scotia....Love to hear from otherar from other specialissma owners and debate merits of authenticity vs upgrades.
    Nice bicycle, welcome to the forums. While the southern Nova Scotia is very nice, if you want to top it, try Cape Breton Island. As for authenticity versus upgrades, I condone any upgrade that makes the bicycle more enjoyable for the owner, just so long it is reversible, in the event that you get nostalgic or decide to sell the bicycle. OEM almost invariably brings a higher price than a modification.

  5. #530
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    Univega Specialissma

    Guys,

    Thanks for the replies. My serial # is K169413 on the bottom bracket.

    It is a 5 speed freewheel, with 120mm Spacing. I am going to have a local frame builder (Rock Lobster) cold set the spacing to 130mm to accommodate new free hubs (which I have one with 36 holes I plan to use).

    While the paint is not awful, there is some tiny bit of rust starting to show near the top tube cable holder braze ons and few other spots. Certainly not out of control or anything. I guess I want to paint it, because I find the gold boring. Never was my favorite color even when I bought it. I think a new paint job would help me get jazzed about the bike.

    I definitely plan on keeping all the original parts for future keepsake. Though with the new paint job that may mute the point. I doubt I can find any decals for a Univega. I will take plenty of photos before it goes off to the paint shop just in case.

    Rob
    Last edited by Rob_W; 12-01-11 at 03:40 PM.

  6. #531
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    All,

    Spoke to soon about the decals for a Univega Specialissma. I found them rather easily at http://www.velocals.com/servlet/the-433/1984-Univega-Specialissma/Detail The tubing decal is wrong, but they have the correct one at another location on the same site.

    Rob

  7. #532
    Senior Member recumbenttoad's Avatar
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    I miss my Univega Alpina Ultima that I purchased new in 1983. I believe it was only the second mountain bike to be sold in the city I live in. The first was a Trek that was sold the day before I bought the Univega. I originally went in to buy the Trek but it was gone and I wanted a bike right then. I paid $650 for it (a bunch of money for a bike in 1983) and never regretted getting it instead of the Trek. Sadly, some worthless punk decided to steal it when I was in class one evening.
    My name is a thread killing word.

  8. #533
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    Quote Originally Posted by mainstreetexile View Post
    Nice Specialissima. If you post the serial number we should be able to give you an exact year.
    IT is # K169413 Would love to nail the year down!


    Your upgrades sound pretty reasonable, especially if you keep any old parts in case you would want to take it back to stock at some point. I'm not sure about the 8 or 9 speed indexed shifting though, but I'm a fan of friction shifting in general, especially with bar-cons.

    Like the Bar cons, but tired of friction shifting. I held off on indexed shifting until the mid 90's. Still have never had the "brifters" pretty pricey... more than happy with indexed bar-cons

    Is this a 5 or a 6 speed freewheel now? If it's 6 it's probably 126mm spacing and you should be able to use a modern 130mm wheelset without too many problems if your brakes can adjust for it. If it's 5 it's probably 120mm and it would need to be cold set. What's wrong with the current wheels?

    Nothing wrong with current wheels. I just want a dynohub and more gears on the back. May as well go 700c as the tire selection is better.


    From the photo, the paint doesn't look bad, why do you want to get it powder coated? -See previous post

    I had a similar SR Apex triple on my '80 gran turismo, it was 52/47/34 and all three rings used the same bcd. Depends on your riding, but I don't really care for half-step+granny cranksets. My miyata 210 also came with one and I swapped it out for a more evenly spaced 50/40/30.

    I dislike the half-step granny gearing as well. Also this combo of barcons/cyclone GT and the triple have very poor shift performance up front, I have tried tweaking it this way and that over the years. Always seems to be a compromise setting slow shifting to big with no over shoot, or possible over shoot with rapid shifting. Tried many permutations of deraileur limits and height on seat tube. Thus I going new Shimano 105 triple with a Sugion XD600 triple (46-36-26) with a a 12-25t on the back. Should be ideal for commuting with all the crap I haul around

    I like your choice of stem, I've had the same exact stem on several of my bikes and I love it.
    Its the bomb. Dislike the color but its perfect fit

    Rob

  9. #534
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
    Nice bicycle, welcome to the forums. While the southern Nova Scotia is very nice, if you want to top it, try Cape Breton Island. As for authenticity versus upgrades, I condone any upgrade that makes the bicycle more enjoyable for the owner, just so long it is reversible, in the event that you get nostalgic or decide to sell the bicycle. OEM almost invariably brings a higher price than a modification.
    Cape Breton is a mite bit more hilly than southern Nova Scotia. Though it sure looks pretty. A friend and I took the ferry from Portland Maine to Yarmouth and then circled around the lower portion passing through Kejimkujik National ParkAddress:which was a lot fun. About 50 miles a day. The 32 tooth front 28 tooth back was too big for some of the hills fully loaded with camping gear. I have also cycle around Prince Edward Island, just as beautiful, but a little more bucolic, and certainly flatter.


    Rob
    Last edited by Rob_W; 12-02-11 at 11:03 AM.

  10. #535
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob_W View Post
    Cape Breton is a mite bit more hilly than southern Nova Scotia. Though it sure looks pretty. A friend and I took the ferry from Portland Maine to Yarmouth and then circled around the lower portion passing through Kejimkujik National ParkAddress:which was a lot fun. About 50 miles a day. The 32 tooth front 28 tooth back was too big for some of the hills fully loaded with camping gear. I have also cycle around Prince Edward Island, just as beautiful, but a little more bucolic, and certainly flatter.


    Rob
    Yes, Cape Breton is a "mite" hillier, but I find it prettier. Price Edward Island is great in that you can cycle the whole length in one day, as long as you're not too heavily loaded and don't make a lot of stops.

    The serial number indicates it was made in 1982. By comparing to serial numbers of known Miyatas in my database, I can confirm that it's not a 1983 model made in late 1982.

  11. #536
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    Thought I'd share some bare Univega frame pics - you don't get to see underneath the skin very often. Naked 84 Competizione pics:






  12. #537
    Junior Member mtree's Avatar
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    Just bought a Univega Alpina Uno which looks to be an early 80's. Has a MTB 100 stem (like 83' Trek 850). What was used back then?
    Gran Sport, Super Sport, Grand Jubilee, 850

  13. #538
    Junior Member mtree's Avatar
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    Would love to know the componentry of an '85 Univega Alpina Uno. Assume it's an '85 as the Dia-Compes are stamped 4-85.
    Gran Sport, Super Sport, Grand Jubilee, 850

  14. #539
    Keener splendor TimmyT's Avatar
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    Mtree, As far as I know, there are no Univega catalogs online. Search for the 1985 Miyata catalog ... it's dead easy. Because most, if not all, Univega frames were made by Miyata, the bikes often have the same or similar components. If you check the 1985 Miyatas v. the 1984 and 1986 Miyatas, you should be able to guess as to whether the components are original or close to original.

    Good luck,
    Tim
    Quote Originally Posted by Craigslist View Post
    Note to you BLOWHARD MORONS out there: The fork is not bent. Most PEUGEOTS of the '70s forks DID NOT line up with the head tube angle. This is normal. The last pic is from the 1972 Dutch catalog showing this EXACT MODEL in diagram. Keep your comments to yourself......
    It's pronounced, "Co-burn."

  15. #540
    Senior Member JReade's Avatar
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    Jesse

  16. #541
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtree View Post
    Would love to know the componentry of an '85 Univega Alpina Uno. Assume it's an '85 as the Dia-Compes are stamped 4-85.
    here is the 83 catalog: http://www.slackers.net/~skoop/unive...ivega_Catalog/

    worth browsing just for the awful 80s marketing pictures

  17. #542
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    I just coincidentally happened to be working in a bike shop when the line changed from Italvega to Univega- It was The Bicycle Peddler in Indianapolis I worked the first two summers of my college days in 1973 and 1974. I also rode for the Circle City Club in USCF racing there, and it was sponsored the first year at least by the shop.

    Anyway- if my recollections correct- that first summer- we opened the place then- and carried several lines of foreign bikes- Raleighs, Motobecane, Manufrance and Italvega, and by the next year, we were taking delivery instead of Univegas. The Italvegas were the more pricey line so we didn't sell that many and had some Italvegas around for awhile.

    In fact I had been racing a couple of years and my dad was getting more into cycling and ended up racing in Veteran's divison, but his first nice bike was an Italvega I got for him at store cost there- it was brown and trimmed with chrome- the three main tubes were Columbus butted tubing, and the rest was straight guage- it was the Italian Equivalent of a Peugeot PX10 or Gitane Tour De France, and had a Simplex 93 crank, and I think gran sport derailleurs, and center pull brakes- it was a strange mix, as were some of the others and I was never sure if Italvega was a worldwide thing, or just some distributor name, especially after the name change to Univega.

    But it did all sorta reflect the market then. I didn't like the japanese stuff then much, except for the Campy knock-offs (but still wouldn't have used it racing- Campy was still relatively affordable)- and so I thought it was a cheapening move to mass produce at the time- It all started to get much better quaity through the '70's though, and overtook much of the european stuff by the '80's.

    Yet the center piece of the store was for some time a full-Campy Full Columbus double butted, pearl colored Italvega, with DRILLED components- It was I think overpriced at $600 then, so as not to sell, but sat up on a pedestal in the middle of the store.

    The store was soon in financial trouble- I think the talk was starting even by the second year, yet STILL opened up another outlet in very downtown Indianapolis- and this was before the yuppie-era return to city centers- with some crazy notion that people would be cycling to work down there and even had showers I think, or at least that was the plan. The Pearl Italvega was moved down there I think. That store then did practically no business at all- and before internet sales or anything- and dragged the first store- near the Motor Speedway on Georgetown Rd and 38th- down with it.

    Dad bought one of the professional set-up stands when they liquidated and had that in the basement the next ten years or so. His Italvega was in a couple of years replaced by a used black Paramount he got somewhere and set up full-Campy, and I'm not sure what ever happened to the brown Italvega.

    Now looking at most of these photos I think the Univega line actually improved in quality in most of the lower end lines - and probably manufactured and sold many many more bikes.
    Last edited by harpon; 01-25-12 at 01:31 AM.

  18. #543
    Keener splendor TimmyT's Avatar
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    I just took some fresh photos of my Univega Gran Turismo. It was mainly finished on New Year's Eve. I put the bar tape on last week. I'll adjust a few things over the coming months, such as the chain and freewheel. It is a very smooth ride.

    IMAG0435.jpg IMAG0439.jpg

    IMAG0444.jpg IMAG0451.jpg

    IMAG0442.jpgIMAG0443.jpg

    IMAG0447.jpg

    IMAG0449.jpg IMAG0456.jpg
    Quote Originally Posted by Craigslist View Post
    Note to you BLOWHARD MORONS out there: The fork is not bent. Most PEUGEOTS of the '70s forks DID NOT line up with the head tube angle. This is normal. The last pic is from the 1972 Dutch catalog showing this EXACT MODEL in diagram. Keep your comments to yourself......
    It's pronounced, "Co-burn."

  19. #544
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    Thats one tall Gran Turismo! How do you like those fenders? Looks like the front flap is just barely off the ground. Also, curious if you like the biopace chain rings?

    I just re-did my Specialissma (see pics of old look a few posts up...) and replaced most of the components. I will post the pics when I get it together. I can barely begin to say what difference new running gear makes! I am sort of on the lookout for a either a super strada or gran premio.

  20. #545
    Keener splendor TimmyT's Avatar
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    The fenders are SKS longboards. I like them. They were designed to have the flap that low. Every now and then, I'll back up the bike, and the flap will ride up between the tire and the fender. This is kind of annoying but easy to deal with.

    I didn't think that I was going to like the Biopace chainrings, but I do. I find them really comfortable. The bike floats.

    I bet the new gears are fantastic on your bike. Mine still has the SunTour 6-speed. It's not ramped, and that makes it a bit clunky. .... Looking forward to seeing the pics!
    Quote Originally Posted by Craigslist View Post
    Note to you BLOWHARD MORONS out there: The fork is not bent. Most PEUGEOTS of the '70s forks DID NOT line up with the head tube angle. This is normal. The last pic is from the 1972 Dutch catalog showing this EXACT MODEL in diagram. Keep your comments to yourself......
    It's pronounced, "Co-burn."

  21. #546
    Senior Member jjhabbs's Avatar
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    I didnt read the entire thread. So I might be covering old ground.

    I worked at a store in the early 80s and we had both Miyata and Univega. It was told to me that a lot of Univega frames were made by Miyata. Any truth to that?

  22. #547
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjhabbs View Post
    I didnt read the entire thread. So I might be covering old ground.

    I worked at a store in the early 80s and we had both Miyata and Univega. It was told to me that a lot of Univega frames were made by Miyata. Any truth to that?
    Yes, most Univega models during the early 1980s were built by Miyata.

  23. #548
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    Before After of Specialissma

    Here are some photos of before and after my powder coat and rebuild/update.

    Jan 2012 279.jpgSmalle.jpg

    The rebuild looks abit goofy as handlebars a bit high, till I get in shape again. Also ran out of money to redo the fenders... oh well eventually. Rides better than ever!

  24. #549
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    Gran Touring


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    Finally got around to taking a pic of my Via Carisma - my 1st "real" bike, bought it new in SF 1991. I've kept it OEM over the years, just built up replacement wheels with NOS Exage hubs and Araya rims. I still have the original seat post and seat, but prefer to ride the Brooks. I use this bike as my snow bike (studded Marathon Winters on it here) and for whenever I need to carry panniers or tow kids. Great bike, we've had a lot of fun together.
    014.jpg

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